Three Tasmanian Festivals Worth the Ferry For

The island of Tasmania often flies under the radar when it comes to music festivals.

The recognizable Falls Festival held across four Australian states, is hosted in Marion Bay, where annually Tasmanian music lovers welcome in the new year.

‘Mainlander’s’ (Tasmanian slang for the inhabitants of the larger island of Australia) may be unaware, that year round, bountiful festivals are on offer.

Here’s three, worthy of a trip on the ‘Spirit’.

First cab off the rank is Junction Arts Festival, a ‘multi-arts’ event hosted in the town of Launceston. In its 7th year of operation, the not for profit festival features a unique combination of eclectic artists and musicians, delivered across five days.

If you enjoy getting amidst the action and up in front of the lights yourself, this one caters for the performers. Junction recognises itself as a ‘unique arts and cultural festival, in which audiences and artists come together in exciting new ways within unusual spaces’.

Held yearly in spring, the week of festivities, includes a schedule of roughly 60 events in total. Previous years have featured late night speak- easies, performances in car-washes, a sauna in a public park and make shift stages presenting backyard live gigs in a true home-style setting.

With a family friendly nature, it invites one and all to join in on the action. The encouraging environment creates a community like feel amongst the attendees. One which can be hard to achieve at larger scale festivals.

Best way to go about it, is book a return trip to Launceston, opt for an Airbnb near the towns centre and you’ll be easily immersed in the local scene. Saturday morning features the local Harvest Market, and it’s highly recommended to pay a visit to the natural Gorge Reserve whilst you are nearby. If you are keen for kick ons, The Royal Oak and Irish are two long standing pubs offering live music most nights of the week.

Next on the agenda. A Festival Called Panama, nestled in the untouched Tasmanian wilderness of Lone Star Valley, is the most serene of all. 
Last year saw a limited number of 1400 attendees gain a ticket to this exclusive Tasmanian festival. The priority ticketing, sees locals and second time attendees getting first preference to secure a muchly sought after spot.

Panama prides itself as a ‘zero waste’ event; the aftermath of 2017’s event resulting in 5 pieces of rubbish left. The festival opts for an environmentally conscious approach, with the site office powered by solar panels. Deemed ‘The cleanest festival ever’ if you care about the earth you are living on but also like to have a good time, it’s the perfect

Due to it’s size, the festival has a small town, community like feel. ‘Mainlanders’ have no fear — you’ll be welcomed with open arms, and likely to know everyone’s name once the three days are up. And for the Tasmanian locals; well it’s practically Christmas with your cousins!

Not only will you get a taste of the finest Tasmanian tunes, there’s plenty other fresh produce on offer at the local food stalls and pop up bars.

Tasmanian wine, whisky and ales are on offer, as well as a special Panama cider bottled on site just for the occasion, the alcoholics in all of us are well catered for.

The best bits? Panama is a kid friendly event. Infact Parents are strongly encouraged to bring the youngins along.

Included activities feature ‘The Great Panama Clothes Swap’. The concept encourages you to clean out unwanted, quality items and exchange them other festival goers. It’s a win for the earth, and a win for you as you rep your new festival threads day in day out.

Party in the Paddock directed by Vibestown established itself a short 5 years ago in the fields of Burnscreek, Tas.

It’s a three night camping affair held in early Feb, and the summer time shindig lives up to it’s name. The relatable case of Facebook event turned rave, the 2-day festival started off as simply, a party in a paddock.

A grass roots festival with humble beginnings, it has made a name for itself in the Australian festival scene, with Triple J jumping on board with major sponsorship in 2017. Previous events have pulled a calibre of big named artists, including the likes of Hermitude, Tash Sultana, The Smith Street Band and Sticky Fingers.

Ticket wise, it is easy enough to purchase a few weeks out, but as the festival becomes more widely recognized and attracts larger named artists, it’s best to grab one early.

This one is perfect for those who are keen to clock up some volunteer hours in exchange for a tick. You will gain early access to the festival grounds and the best bit is the coin you save, you can spend on tinnies. Operated through Volleyspot, there’s little competition for a spot and if you fly solo, you’re guranteed to make ‘Tassie’ mates on shift!

Evidently, what Tasmania has been historically mocked to lack is inconsiderate of its thriving live arts scene.

I recommend you lock in that annual leave early, and head on down to the island!

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